Three white children in front of Herring Era Museum sign

Iceland: Learning About (and Eating) Fish

We moved around A LOT during our week in Iceland. Like, a new place every night A LOT. But we did make it back to some of our very favorite places from our 2018 visit—and some things were just as magical as they were the first time, while others weren’t quite what we remembered.

Siglufjörður

Following our kids’ epic trampoline session, we hit the road the next morning, heading to Siglufjörður, a tiny town of about 1300 people, I knew both thanks to Rick Steves (guidebook author extraordinaire—and whom my kids refer to as “Dick Leaves”) and Icelandic mystery writer Ragnar Jonasson, who sets much of his “Dark Iceland” series there.

Three white children in front of Herring Era Museum sign
The kids freezing in June at the Herring Era Museum of Iceland

Following a pretty fantastic lunch at Hannes Boy, we headed to the Herring Era Museum, which is pretty much the highlight of the town, save the swanky-looking hotel where we were sadly not staying. Sam will go to pretty much any maritime or fishing museum, so he was definitely the most interested in learning about the history of the “herring adventure” in Iceland. I was probably most taken by the exhibits featuring artifacts from the “herring girls” who worked salting and processing the herring. The attic rooms in the final building were filled with their clothing, cooking utensils, and miscellaneous other belongings.

How smart is that—three pots that can fit on a single burner?!

Akureyri

We wrapped up the day by driving onto Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city (pop. ~ 19,000). There, we stayed at the Hotel Icelandair, squeezed into a single room with a set of bunk beds (claimed by Ben and Addie), a double bed (occupied by Sam and me), and a single bed at the foot of the double, for Henry. It was a lot of us to pack into a single room, needless to say, and it was no one’s best night of sleep.

That evening, after a leisurely stroll through downtown and along the waterfront, we grabbed dinner at NOA Seafood Restaurant, where Sam, Addie and I had enjoyed a lovely dinner last summer. The food was good once again—and the catch of the day was once again wolffish. The chef stopped by each table and pulled up a photo of a wolffish, as he had done last year, to show diners what they were eating (they are rather large and ugly, with very big teeth). Not saying that the catch of the day is always wolffish, but… maybe the catch of the day is often wolffish? I dunno.

Melanie

Hey there! I’m Melanie. Originally from Brooklyn, home is now Charleston, SC--or wherever my three kids and husband are. Our family gap year will take us around the world, touching down on six continents over 12 months.
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